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  • Jay Thandi

How Traditional PR Agencies can harness the power of Digital PR and increase revenue


Digital PR Image to gain attention and start conversations
Digital PR Image


Intro

In 2024 brands are demanding more. 


No longer can we have streams of work operating in silos, ever decreasing budgets require agencies to create strategies and work streams that drive metrics across multiple channels and adopt a more integrated approach.  


With experience creating and leading Traditional PR teams and working on the World's biggest brands, we caught up with James Roach to understand how he thinks Traditional PR agencies could evolve to be able to get a bigger slice of the Digital PR pie and earn more revenue as a result. 



Setting the scene

Over the last 10 years I’ve worked and led Digital PR teams at some of the leading SEO marketing agencies in the UK. During this time I’ve seen the same issues occur time and time again.


One of the biggest issues that raises its ugly head more often than most is the conversation with clients around results. 


In most cases clients see success as being how many placements and links we get for a story that we are outreaching to press. Which is why it is vital that two key components within the Digital PR process are always on point. 


  1. The Idea - It’s got to be PR led, newsworthy and hooky as hell

  2. The Outreach Process - This needs to be expertly crafted and delivered (no spray and pray tactics here please).


It’s safe to say that most SEO marketing agencies have it covered when it comes to understanding the ideas that work for Digital PR, and the technicalities involved with how getting links back to a story or asset page can benefit a client. Where they sometimes lack experience, is in the outreach and PR side of things. Knowing how to sell a story effectively, having a little black book of contacts, and being able to talk the lingo effectively in order to get a journalist's attention. It is in this area (the most important) where SEO marketing agencies tend to get patchy and inconsistent results for clients, leading to client unrest and wasted budgets on campaigns that are inconsistent in delivering value.


This is where more Traditional PR agencies can excel.



How traditional agencies could increase revenue by understanding Digital PR

Having trained many Traditional PR agencies on what Digital PR is and how it differs, two things have become abundantly clear to me.


  1. Traditional PR agencies are delivering insanely consistent coverage that SEO Marketing agencies could only dream of.

  2. Some Traditional PR agencies lack the basic understanding of SEO to be able to join the dots between their good PR work and how it can benefit clients online.


As a result, Traditional PR agencies are missing out on a lot of revenue from clients who are going elsewhere to fulfill their Digital PR needs.



Showing the true value of your work

One of the more frustrating elements of Traditional PR initiatives is that it can be very hard to track actual effectiveness in terms of revenue generated.


But imagine a world where you could see a direct impact on the bottom line, on online growth, on traffic and on conversions from a campaign that you ran. 


That is what Digital PR can do, that is why it’s so powerful, and that is why you can charge more for it from your clients.


Having a clear Digital PR strategy will allow you to speak to clients and forecast potential revenue uplifts from the work you’ll undertake, vitally important for getting C-suite level buy-in at a time where clients are conscious of every spend.



Looking at PR through another lens

The good news is that more Traditional PR agencies have already got the hard part sorted. 

They know exactly how to get coverage, no problems.


In order to unlock the purse strings of brands who want to see success with Digital PR efforts that tie back into online growth, the path is simple.


Traditional PR agencies need to get adept in being able to speak to the clients online pain points that can be solved with Digital PR and online coverage. 


An example of some of these are:


  1. Lack of site authority

  2. Low keyword SERP positioning

  3. Lack of traffic to key product pages


Bridging the knowledge gap here and being able to speak about how online coverage can fix all these issues and more will put you ahead of most SEO marketing agencies and start to get you a piece of that Digital PR pie.  



Help is at hand

Part of my work as a freelance Digital PR expert has been to run fun interactive workshops, training and consultancy sessions with Traditional PR agencies. In these sessions we cover all aspects of a Digital PR strategy, from defining KPI’s, right through to identifying strategic areas of their clients online offering that require assistance, defining client goals and more.


This in turn allows for teams to navigate conversations confidently with new and existing clients in order to unlock new budgets and opportunities.


Likewise the same can be done for internal PR teams at brands who already have a group of PR experts owning their brands story and output.


To find out more about working together visit my LinkedIn or email me at ijamesroach@gmail.com.


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